Thursday, August 14, 2014

Part 3: Miles 2000-3000

Part 3: Miles 2000-3000

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with this trip, I just miss my friend Paco.

Thursday July 31, 2014

Climbing at Rattlesnake Gulch north of Philipsburg.  Feels good to stop for a day and get some climbing in.  Easy approaches, cool rock.  The rock that was good anyway.  

Megan hard at work.

I forget how spoiled I am when it comes to good climbing areas living in AZ.  Shit there’s how many different spots outside of Prescott alone?  All with countless routes, minimal approaches, great rock, no people.  Glad to find a good spot up here.  Missed the spurs down south.  Would have been fun.  Swimming in the Clark Fork.  Into Missoula, splurge on a place to stay for the night.

Friday August 1, 2014

Awful sleep.  That’s what I get for sleeping in a big comfy bed.  North to Glacier National Park.  One of my favorite spots.  Spent a night up a tree with a grizzly last time I was here.  Then a wind storm hit.  An unintentional John Muir reenactment then proceeded.  Good day getting here, lots of stops, lots of swimming. 

Proper riding technique.

 Scenic route to the west of the park to the idealistic Polebridge. 

Sign into Polebridge.

Camp up river.  The term ‘ Wild and Scenic Rivers’ keeps reoccurring in my head.  I missed this.  These ‘Almost Canadian Rockies.’  Huckleberry pie with huckleberry ice cream for dinner.

Saturday August 2, 2014

Drive the road through Glacier on Frank.  

Glacier view.

Many of the same thoughts, feelings, themes as Yellowstone.  I have been sick over the last week and just rebounding.  I wish I had the energy to explore better.  Its just not there.  Lots more swimming.  Eating.  Scenery overload.  Great camp spot.

View from camp.

  More pie and ice cream.  Fire.  Calmness.

Sunday August 3, 2014

Leave glacier today and begin west.  Decision made to climb at Kila crags over Stoney Hill on Koocanusa due mostly to proximity.  Fun climbing.  Iffy rock. 

Kila crags.

I regret not getting to climb Stoney Hill though.  Disappointing bale on a difficult lead has got me feeling anxious to return.  Onwards to Wolf Creek.  Arrival at Koocanusa and Kootenai district.  Home away from home for me.  I have worked here in the summers off and on the past few years breaking and training horses and haying.  Nana also lives here.  Feels good to be back.

Monday August 4, 2014

Departure of a good friend today.  Time spent was thoroughly enjoyable, and I hesitate as she returns south.  Last stop at Kootenai Falls and Troy.  

Megan at thinking about running the Kootenai Falls.

Arrival at Gib’s ranch and I  find him under a tree, recalculating his receipt from the grocery store, thinking he got screwed out of a dollar.  Meanwhile hes got countless acres needing swathing, bailing, 15 horses shod, another 10 trimmed.  I wasn’t there 30 minutes before I was out on the swather, cutting hay while Gib takes to his horses.  After about an hour the clutch on the swather goes out.  Repairs, old broken machinery.  Same old story around here, as if I never left.  We quit work and focused on popsicles.  BBQ.  Huge steaks and I am off for Nana’s north of Sandpoint.  Arrival at the cabin and I relax.  Back home.  Calm and peaceful.

Tuesday August 5, 2014

No events today.  Nap.  Thinking my way towards Squamish.  North via Banff?  North cascades?  Fresh blackberries from Nana’s graden.

I smell blackberries.

Wednesday August 6, 2014

Excessive calories of late due entirely to Nana.  Ride up to the Fault Lake TH just 20 or so minutes up Nana’s road.  In 2012 I did a pack trip up here with Gib and Emily.  Im excited for the run up.  Good climbing the whole way up.  Its beautiful up here.

Approach to Fault Lake.
Fault Lake.
Surprising this terrain exists right here.  Lingered at the lake for a bit and took photos.


  Descend back to Frank and the cabin for a final night with Nana.  

Descent from Fault Lake.

Run: 10 miles – 3,000’ ascent

Thursday August 7, 2014

Decision made to stay stateside until post Squamish.  Travel west into Washington back roads and small highways through the northeastern and central parts of the state.  

Frank hitching a ride across the Columbia River.

Right through the fires.  Big flames and destroyed homes roadside.  Suddenly feeling, spoiled, selfish.  People ask if im here as a firefighter.  I answer no, just traveling.

Got pulled over this evening for not wearing a helmet.  Got out of it.  Im not a fan of helmet laws.  Camp at Rock Creek just outside of Twisp.

Friday August 8, 2014

Morning spent at bakery in Twisp.  Slow ride into North Cascade National Park.  First time here.  It already be one of my favorite parks.  Low on administration, high on recreation.  

I typically dont like reservoirs, but this one is kind of pretty.

Good running and climbing everywhere you look.  Evening run up Sourdough Mountain.  5000’ in 5 miles?  Sure.  

Thank goodness.

Don’t bring a camera when trying to run things fast.   

Sunset from Sourdough.

Old Lookout Cabin.

Final approach to Sourdough.

The opposing range.

Back just over two hours.

Run: 10 miles – 5000’ ascent

Saturday August 9, 2014

Scored a free campsite last night inside the park.  Relaxed and did some major sitting aorund this morning.  Eventually got moving and headed up the 4th of July pass and down a bit the other side.  Exchanged pleasantries with my 6th bear of this summer.  I really like it here.

Run: 12 miles - 3000' ascent

Sunday August 10, 2014

Had a great time sharing my campsite with a couple from the coast.  Headed out of the park and out Cascade River Rd.  Unintentional fairly big run up a fairly large mountain with fairly large amounts of snow, ice, and glaciers. 

Part of the glacier ahead.

Up to Glacier pass, then up to the Glacier campand up Sahale? Mountain.  Ran into my old buddy the Speedgoat.

A Karl Meltzer sighting.

Mountain man.

Awesome day in the peaks.  These mountains are expansive and rugged.  Ill be back soon.  Descend back to Frank and camp at a campground where Alpine Ascents out of Seattle were leading a trip up the mountain.  They were nice enough to let me set up at their site.

Frank enjoying the scenery.

Happy goat.

 Tomorrow I'm off for Bellingham and north into Canada.  I may try and push for Squamish.  Im actually around 3200 miles but thought it was a good break as I start a new country tomorrow.

Onwards to The Great White North!


  1. Mike what kind of camera are you using?! Pics are sweet.

    1. Thanks Steph! Mostly just an old magic rectangle, aka iphone